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Retirement Plans Newsletter

January 25, 2024

2 New Job Opportunities 2 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

DOL Finalizes Procedures for Prohibited Transaction Exemptions (PDF)

"Because applicants will be required to provide more information upfront, the agency won't have to go back to them several times to ask for more information ... The rule also expands the definition of 'qualified independent fiduciary' and 'qualified independent appraiser' ... The new definitions will impose more requirements and restrictions on both parties[.]"  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

DOL Issues Guidance on Pension-Linked Emergency Savings Accounts

"The FAQs provide guidance based on ERISA's provisions on emergency savings accounts as well as fundamental ERISA rules."  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

SECURE 2.0 Will Help Young Savers the Most, EBRI Finds

"Preliminary research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI] says that the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 will bring modest benefits for those approaching retirement but will have a larger impact on younger workers. The report also found that the automatic enrollment and saver's match provisions will have the largest positive effect on retirement security nationally."  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

The Psychology Behind Starting Social Security at 62

"One group saw a chart that listed how much a hypothetical worker could expect in his monthly Social Security check, ranging from $1,339 at age 62 to $2,395 at 70. A second group's chart totalled up the lifetime benefits. The retiree who signed up for the $1,339 check at 62 would accumulate a total of $353,500 in benefits if he lived to 85. But if he waited until 70, the $2,395 benefits paid every month would add up to $402,360. The people who saw the larger lifetime totals said they would claim their benefits much earlier."  MORE >>

Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

Aon Settles SEC Charges Related to PSERS Miscalculation

"Years after the Pennsylvania Public Employees' Retirement System discovered that Aon had made costly performance reporting errors, the consultant has settled charges related to the incident with the [SEC].... Although the mistake was small -- the original calculation, 6.38 percent for the nine-year period ending June 30, 2020, was revised up to 6.34 percent -- it pushed ... the returns under PSERS's 6.36 percent benchmark, forcing the fund to ask its beneficiaries to contribute more to their pension funds."  MORE >>

Institutional Investor


ARA Letter to IRS Requesting Guidance on Student Loan Payment Provisions of SECURE 2.0 (PDF)

"ARA recommends that IRS issue guidance related to qualified student loan payments (QSLPs) [including]: [1] Permit a plan to set a deadline for claims that is earlier than three months after the end of the plan year  ... [2] Confirm that certain operational practices will not cause a plan to have a different rate of match for QSLPs than for elective deferrals. [3] Clarify how nondiscrimination testing must be conducted[.]"  MORE >>

American Retirement Association [ARA]


Congress Should Remove IRS Rules Restricting Public Pension Reforms for Current Employees

"If a government employer wants to change a public sector retirement program and give current employees a choice to stay in the current plan or pick a new retirement plan with a different employee contribution amount, the [IRS] will prohibit that option from being offered.... The IRS has, in effect, taken the position that the 401(k) provisions ... should ... be interpreted to prohibit employers from ever offering employees the chance to pick a new plan if it involves any change in the contribution rates under a governmental 414(h) pickup arrangement."  MORE >>

Reason Foundation

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

DOL's Final Independent Contractor Rule Contains Important Potential Impacts for Employee Benefit Plans

"This Bulletin highlights the differences in worker classification between the [IRS] rules that are applicable to employee benefit plans and the DOL Final Rule guidance that is applicable to FLSA determinations. Employers will need to determine how best to coordinate these agency guidelines when determining whether an individual should be treated as an employee and for what purpose."  MORE >>

Winston & Strawn LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Employers Need to Get 'Control' of IRS Controlled Group Rules (PDF)

"Determining that a business is a single controlled group can have profound implications for purposes of retirement plans and health and welfare plans and related purposes ... [T]he IRS and DOL rules relating to controlled group determinations were last issued approximately thirty years ago.... [and] leave open questions when it comes to modern-day corporate forms.... This column provides an overview of the controlled group rules and certain considerations that taxpayers may want to have in mind when applying these rules to their modern-day corporate structures, including with respect to the ACA."  MORE >>

Davis & Gilbert LLP, via Employee Relations Law Journal

Making Employee Benefits Matter in 2024 and Beyond

"From 2019 to now, the number of companies that have established minimum standards has increased from 36% to 70%.... Being market competitive remains the priority for the majority (67%). Equally, companies increasingly are focused on wellbeing (61%) and, equitable and inclusive benefits (56%).... [B]enefits costs and risks are a priority for both at the HQ and local operations. However, companies appear to acknowledge that this is best done by aligning total rewards costs with what employees value and getting rid of under-utilized or under-valued benefits (46%)."  MORE >>

Willis Towers Watson

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as DC/DB Administrator for HowardSimon

DC/DB Administrator



View job as DC/DB Administrator for HowardSimon

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant for Definiti

Retirement Plan Consultant



View job as Retirement Plan Consultant for Definiti

Selected New Discussions

Pro Rating the SSTWB Integration Limit in a Short Year (Plan Terminated)

"I'm doing a final PS allocation for a calendar year plan that was terminated 9/15/23. That was the final pay date before they were purchased, and all payroll stopped then, and the purchase agreement required that the plan be terminated as of that date. I couldn't convince them to let the plan run until 12/31/23. The PS formula is integrated at 80% SSTWB + $1. So for 2023, if it was a full calendar year, that would be $128,161. x8.5 /12 = $90,780.71 (or something like that, depending on when you add the extra dollar). The question is what to do with the integration level. This is below 80% of the annual limit, so do I have to use 4.3? Or do I get to still use 5.4% because it's 80%+ of the applicable limit once the pro rating is considered? My software gives me an error on the latter because 56.667% of the TWB is not at least 80%."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Correcting Missed Deferral Opportunity on Retroactive Overtime Pay

"I have a sponsor that changed payroll systems in 2021. As a result of that change , overtime was not calculated correctly in 2021 through 2023 for a group of participants. Sponsor self-discovered the error in late 2023 and paid this group of employees back pay on a separate 10/20/2023 payroll. The plan is a 401(k) deferral only plan covering only collectively bargained employees. The plan does not include an automatic contribution arrangement. According to their plan document, the back pay is eligible compensation/allocation pay. The sponsor did not take elective deferrals for this separate payroll. We didn't learn about this issue until after 1/20/2024. No notice has been provided to the affected participants. I'm trying to figure out if there is a way to turn this into a notice only or zero QNEC correction. My conservative view is that correct deferrals began with the payroll following 10/20/2023, which would have started the 45 day clock for a notice only correction. Thoughts?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

DOL Fiduciary Hearings and Comment Letters: Part 1


Faegre Drinker

New IRS Regs on 401(k) Eligibility for Long-Term Part-Time Employees: Key Issues and Next-Steps for Plan Sponsors

February 6, 2024 WEBINAR


DOL ERISA Enforcement 2024 Update: ERISA Enforcement 101, Basics and Best Practices

February 15, 2024 WEBINAR

Morgan Lewis

DOL ERISA Enforcement 2024 Update: Enforcement Activities and Priorities for Retirement Plans Including ESOPs

February 29, 2024 WEBINAR

Morgan Lewis

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

IRS Extends Deadline for SECURE 2.0 Amendments and Provides Other Guidance

Trucker Huss

SECURE 2.0 and the Past and Future of the U.S. Retirement System (PDF)

J. Mark Iwry, David C. John, and William G. Gale, via The Brookings Institution

ERISA Litigation Faces New Frontiers in 2024 (PDF)

Groom Law Group, via Law360

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BenefitsLink® Retirement Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9587.

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